I discovered a new phrase this morning as I clicked onto the homepage of www.biblegateway.com to read scripture. In one of their articles was the phrase “thought leaders.” It was a reference to people they’d interviewed for an article. Their thought lead my thought down this path this morning; who’s thoughts are we leading and how? Attitudes are formed in the bowels of mankind; you can take that however you’d like but the Bible speaks often of bowels in relationship to the heart. In the Song of Solomon 5:4 Solomon wrote “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him” in reference to his loves delight in his return home. It’s not the most romantic of words in our culture but it speaks of the queasiness you feel when you love someone that much. We flower it up by saying we get “butterflies in our stomach.” And the same queasiness or uneasiness in our soul can be stirred up in strife or anger. It is then nausea and it’s often spewed forth in vile words that are meant to produce nausea in the life of someone else. It’s the “stuff” good and bad attitudes are made of.
David wrote in Psalm 94:11, “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” Most of our thoughts are self-centered in some form or another. Even our grandest, most unselfish ideas have at their core the idea that it will work to our favor somehow. It’s the nature of man. We most often think that we are superior to those around us in way and in deed. When someone belittles us or speaks unkind we don’t usually think “Oh, that’s okay, I did that to so and so last week.” No, we usually think, “Who do you think you are?” Those thoughts and actions turn our thoughts and actions into a negative state, and by that we are now “Thought leaders.” We have set the tone for the day. We’re far more powerful than we comprehend.
By the same token a kind word or deed can create a positive spin to a conversation and everyone leaves with their bowels refreshed. When’s the last time you said that in a conversation? Paul said it to Philemon in his letter in Philemon 1:7 ~ “For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee.” Again, it’s a cultural thing, but it’s so fitting; because in the pit of our stomach is where those emotions reveal themselves.
So what should we do about our thoughts? After all many of them are controlled by circumstances we’re not in control of. A little self-examination goes a long way. David said in Psalm 119:59 ~“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” The Word of God is a thought changer. We have to go into every day understanding that we are one bad situation away from vain ideas. One negative comment either to us or from us that ruins an entire day. But the Word of God can change all that. If we have started our day reading and contemplating what thus saith the Lord we’ve put goodness into our heart, and if we dwell on His thoughts, our thoughts can be pushed aside. And if we’re confronted by a “Negative Nellie,” we can thwart Satan’s plan, and his bad day intentions will have gone awry!
Praise God the Lord doesn’t think like we do. Psalm 92:5 ~ O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. Our shallow thoughts cannot compare. How much greater to think on His thoughts than ours and to lead those around us down His path.